Strong Bullpen Performance Lifts Jayhawks Past NDSU, 7-5
March 12, 2005
LAWRNECE, Kan. – Senior first baseman Andy Scholl and freshman second baseman Ryne Price both collected three hits and the Jayhawk bullpen allowed only one run in the final six innings to help led the University of Kansas baseball team to a 7-5 victory over North Dakota State on Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark.
With the win, the Jayhawks improve their record this season to 15-8.
“Today was an outstanding college baseball game,” Kansas head coach Ritch Price said. “Their pitchers were able to keep us off balance with a lot of breaking balls, but our bullpen did a great job and put us in a position to win.”
The Bison jumped out to an early lead by scoring three times in the top of the first inning on a two-run single by designated hitter Jared Sullivan and a balk from Kansas starter Sean Land.
Land lasted three innings on the mound for KU, allowing three earned runs while striking out two and walking two. KU relievers Scott Sharp, Andrew Rebar and Don Czyz were impressive in relief of Land, combining for six innings while allowing only five hits and one run.
The Jayhawks responded with four runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the lead at 4-3. The first four KU batters of the inning reached base and scored off of NDSU starter Brandon Goltz, who took the loss to drop his record this season to 0-3. Ryne Price drove in the first run of the inning on an RBI double, and two batters later freshman third baseman Erik Morrison tallied his 13th RBI of the season as he plated Price with a single to left field. Senior catcher Sean Richardson drove in the Jayhawks’ final run of the frame with a RBI groundout.
After NDSU scored a run in the top of the fourth inning to knot the game at 4-4, the Jayhawks put two more runs on the scoreboard in the home half of the inning to retake the lead. Junior outfielder A.J. Van Slyke began the inning with his sixth double of the season to give the Jayhawks a base runner with no outs. Van Slyke was able to score in the next at bat when Scholl singled sharply to center field. Freshman right fielder Brock Simpson plated Scholl later in the inning on a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the fifth inning, NDSU pinch hitter Matt Freudenthal grounded into what appeared to be an inning-ending double plate, but was able to beat out the throw at first bases allowing Bison second baseman Charles Magedanz to score from third and cut the KU lead to 6-5.
Czyz would not allow NDSU to climb any closer as he entered the game in the seventh inning and held the Bison scoreless in the final three innings to earn his third save of the season. The Overland Park, Kan., native record five of the ballgame’s final nine outs by strikeout to bring his season total to 28.
“We have been very pleased with his (Czyz’s) development,” said Price. “He was outstanding in our last road trip to Mississippi and again today. Anytime we have the lead, we feel very comfortable with him in the game.”
The Jayhawks tagged on an insurance run on a RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Scholl in the seventh inning to increase their advantage to 7-5.
Kansas and North Dakota State conclude the three-game series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. match-up at Hoglund Ballpark.